Overture on Hebrew Themesop. 34 (1919)
for clarinet, piano and string quartet
Boosey & Hawkes
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.
In New York, in his early post-revolutionary years of exile, Prokofieff arranged some delightfully catchy klezmer tunes (traditional Jewish wedding music) for a group of friends who had a small ensemble with those traditional klezmer instruments, clarinet, violin and double-bass. A few years later he made this second version for small orchestra, exchanging the feel of chamber music for something larger, but adding more of a sense of occasion to the music and even more sparkle. In this form, the Overture makes a charming concert-opener, but would work also as an unusual encore, guaranteed to bring a smile to the faces of everyone in the hall.
Note by Gerard McBurney